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This Ain’t the Summer of Love


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Summer S Summers

Track # 14, Maggot Brain by Funkadelic

The days went by slowly. Summer was unable to keep track, as there were no calendars or form of electronic to monitor the passing of time. There was a large grandfather clock close to the fireplace. It as the only measurement of time Summer had. It told the passing of a day, but not the passing of days. She’d lose herself in books, voraciously reading everything in the vast library across the hall. And Sophie. From the grow-out on Sophie’s dyed hair, Summer guessed many months had passed, perhaps even a year. It wasn’t like a girl who’s blood was being depleted regularly grew hair at a normal pace, though. Add to the fact that Summer was enshrouded in a veil of depression and loneliness, and well...time had little meaning.

It was an odd friendship, even Summer knew that. Sophie chose to be there, Summer was held captive. Sophie presumably had freedom once she left the mansion, able to be friends with as many people as she wished. Summer had the books, a lone spider in a windowsill that had seemingly escaped the meticulous eye of the butler, and her Chalice. Her only source of nourishment was her only source of companionship. The more she read, the more self aware she became. As a result, she had a slight inkling of the overarching shape her psyche would take as a result of this. It didn’t dampen her enthusiasm when Sophie would arrive bi-weekly. This evening was no different. Summer sat at the armchair by the fireplace, even though there was no fire. It was an unseasonably warm night in late spring. She wore a high-necked cream blouse with a long skirt. It was without a doubt, absolutely not Summer’s normal style. It was, however, what he had given her. There was a wide cherrywood wardrobe near the back of the room, filled to the brim with the finest garb of the early 20th century. She looked like she was doing Downton Abbey cosplay. The garments gave no indication when they’d actually been made. Given what he was -what she now was- she assumed they were actually from the period. The thought made her mouth chalky.

Sophie entered, sporting a trendy outfit appropriate for her age and the times. Or at least it looked that way to Summer. Surely not that much time had passed, right? Summer felt a bit of panic rise in her chest as Sophie entered. She smashed it down as she stood, smiling wide. Waiting for the butler to shut the door, she embraced the young woman warmly. She smelled like outside, sunshine and fresh air. Summer inhaled deeper, then let Sophie go, lest she come across as completely creepy. They exchanged pleasantries and discussed the goings on. Summer mostly interjecting when Sophie would regale stories of her nights out at pubs or drama with her friends. Summer kept a plain face to hide the waves of emotions that’d hit her. Envy, anger, longing. All of it. She’d busy herself by brushing Sophie’s hair or braiding it in a complicated plait. As her fingers slid through the silky tresses, Sophie continued on. She told Summer of how she’d met a man at a pub. They’d gotten smashed and went home together. Sophie spared no details, talking as if she were talking to a friend out in the world.

Only she wasn’t. She was speaking to a hungry vampire who was being held captive for just nearly a year. A vampire who’d never really had a great handle on her emotions, what with being raised by petulant drug addicted parents. Without much thought at all, Summer tugged on a braid and murmured, “I’m hungry now, Sophie.” Her voice was void of the raging emotions bubbling beneath the surface.

“Okay”, the young woman replied meekly, a bit surprised at being cut off from her story. She stood and turned around, sliding onto Summer’s lap, her usual spot when Summer fed. Summer looked up at her, so pretty and fresh, and alive. Her blood beckoned her. Fangs elongating, she moved her head in close, running her tongue along Sophie’s neck. It was essentially a move to help find her pulse, although it did have other purposes. To taste the victim, for one. To distract them from the inevitable bite that would soon follow. Inhaling sharply, Summer bit down hard. Sophie let out a small yelp, surprised again. The blood poured into Summer’s waiting mouth, but not quick enough for her. Holding Sophie close, she bit down again, deeper and harder. Sophie’s scream was high pitched, then garbled as blood rushed into her throat and airway. Still, Summer continued. It was as though she were a dog with a bone, relentless.

The silence that followed the frenzy was deafening. But not nearly as deafening as the scream that ripped from Summer’s throat when her mouth finally pulled away from her one and only friend. Sophie lay limp and damned near bloodless in her arms. The girl’s blood instead dripping down Summer’s chin and neck, making her blouse sticky, warm and reeking of hot pennies. Summer’s hands were covered in blood as she feebly attempted to cover the gruesome bite on Sophie’s neck. Sophie’s crystal clear blue eyes were lifeless, staring at the ceiling, frozen in time forever.

The dreadful ghoulish butler stepped in, seemingly unaffected by the screams. At most, he looked mildly curious. The butler gave a withering look at the scene before him, then revealing his dull yellowed teeth in a perverse grin. With as much gusto as he entered, he left, taking care to close the door behind him. Summer whimpered, realizing she’d actually thought perhaps there was something they could have done for Sophie. Couldn’t they turn her? Looking down at the young woman, Summer tightened her arms around her, embracing the lifeless body. Wracking sobs caused Summer’s shoulders to shake violently, rivers of tears cut through the blood on her lower face. “My friend. My only friend.” She sobbed, voice thick with emotion. The one good thing in her life and she’d ruined it. Killed her. She killed her friend. The revelation was so startling it nearly stopped her tears.

“Ah, tut tut! Someone got a little out of hand, it seems. I thought we could trust you alone with your meal, Złoto.” He came in chuckling, the butler behind him. “You know you ought to save that passion for me.”

Summer made a guttural sound followed by a harsh gagging. The blood had already been absorbed, ‘digested’. There was nothing for her to vomit, regardless of the reflexive need to do so after he made such a crude comment. She didn’t know his name, only that the brothers called him ‘Uncle’. Not her brothers, but the ones who’d kidnapped her. This man was of no relation to her, not that her own relation was winning many parenting awards. She wasn’t entirely sure he knew her name. He called her Złoto when she’d first been presented to him, giving a lock of her golden blonde hair a tug as he said the word. Whatever it meant, it had elicited a nearly Pavlovian response from her, making her recoil in horror. Which in turn excited the older vampire.

Walking to her, he stood before her, looking at the bloody mess. Making a soft sound, he reached out and ran two fingers across Summer’s jaw. Licking the blood from his fingertips, he clucked his tongue regretfully before slapping Summer swiftly across the face. It effectively removed all semblance of thought from her mind, the sound echoing in her brain. Face stinging something fierce, she kept her face turned away from him, staring unfocused at the Turkish rug beneath her bed.

“I’m gravely disappointed in you, Złoto. This one was a good Chalice, reliable and obedient. Those are hard to find. I am tempted to let you go without for a while as punishment.”

A small, ironic laugh bubbled past her still-bloodied lips. Punishment. Yes, that is what she was lacking. Living in a bedroom with no actual exposure to the outside world was practically an all-inclusive resort!

His hand gripped her jaw tightly as he whipped her face toward his. Leaning in, he hissed his words, flecks of spit hitting her skin. “You laugh, kurwa? What could possibly be so funny about killing my property? Staining my rugs?” He hit her again, backhanded but with a closed fist. The force was enough to have her slump to the side. Sophie’s corpse slid down her lap and tumbled to the ground, further enraging him. The butler merely stood behind, clasping his bony hands together in delight.

The uncle howled in anger at the site of the bloodied girl further staining his precious rugs. Grabbing Summer by a fistful of hair, he dragged her up to standing. It took everything she had to not yelp in pain, knowing it’d fan the flames of his rage. Her hand instinctively shot up to his arm in an attempt to lessen the tug on her scalp. He would have nothing of the sort. Grabbing her hand, he yanked it forcefully aside, face diving in toward her. Wincing, she braced herself. Fangs out, he bit rabidly into her neck, gnawing at her like a starved animal. Not unlike how she'd just devoured her friend. It seemed he wanted wanted to engage in a little 'eye for an eye'. Or 'neck for a neck' as the case may be.

If her screams were frantic before, they were nothing like now. She thought she could hear faint laughter coming from behind, the only sound she’d ever hear from the butler. But she couldn’t be sure. The sounds of her screaming mixed with the uncles grunting as he tore her flesh from her neck was all consuming. The pain was searing, blinding. Worst of all, she felt a true weakness tingle through her body. Her thrashings slowed, screams quieted as blackness engulfed her.

He stood up, face now as bloodied as Summer’s. Fangs elongated, his eyes were narrow with fury and contempt as he looked down at his blacked out progeny. Nearly the entire right half of Summer’s neck was ripped to shreds. The inky blood seeped slowly from her body, soaking her clothes and the rug beneath further. “How you disappoint me, Złoto.” His voice was an octave just above a whisper, speaking to nobody in particular. Turning, he looked at the butler, licking the blood from around his lips. “Take care of this mess. Leave her be.” Her, being Summer, not Sophie. The dead Chalice was of no consequence to him, merely a piece of property destroyed.

Without further word, he left. The butler held an obedient posture, only to reveal his disappointment in his instructions when his master left. He could not consume both girls. He'd have to settle for the dead human girl, leaving the vampire to turn to dust. With a wheezy sigh, the butler set to work, taking sure to clean the fine rugs to pristine condition. In order to make the room spotless, he tucked Summer’s limp body in the empty, vast marble fireplace. There she remained for the weeks it took for the butler to tidy everything to perfection and to finally ‘handle’ Sophie’s rotting remains. For the butler, she was absolutely perfect. Exactly right for consumption.

Summer lay still, lifeless and damaged nearly beyond repair in the expansive fireplace for upwards of six weeks. The healing rate slowed considerably given her blood loss and injuries sustained. The single saving grace was that she had gorged just prior to being mauled by the uncle. Sophie had saved Summer’s life one last time.
July 12, 2017 08:16 pm

Summer S Summers

Track #15, King’s Crossing by Elliott Smith,

Feeling as though she were Christ himself rising out of a cave, Summer blinked rapidly and licked her dry, cracked lips as she sat up. Everything was stiff- hair, skin, joints, clothes. A dim blue light filtered in through the curtained windows, leading her to believe it was dusk outside. Propping herself onto one arm, Summer sat in silence as she assessed. What...what had happened? The feeling was similar to oversleeping after a long nap. Discombobulated, disoriented, rested yet even more tired. Glancing down, she noticed her cream-colored blouse was covered with crusty dried blood. As were her hands. Gross, she thought. Yet at the same time, she felt an unspeakably strong urge to consume. These blood flakes were a pale imitation of what she so desperately needed.

Crawling on hands and knees because standing upright was too arduous of a task, Summer made her way around the room, headed for the door. Her mind was blank. Mostly. She wanted blood, she knew she hurt, and she felt an unspeakable, unshakable sadness that permeated her to her core. Reaching the door, the hefted her weight upon the brass doorknob. Summer attempted to turn it, but it wouldn’t budge. Of course, it wouldn’t; she was locked in the room as always. With a frustrated, raspy sound, she tried harder to no avail.

Balling her frail, thin hands into fists, she pounded on the door with all her might. It wasn’t much of a sound, as she was nearly skin and bones. Grey skinned, dull-eyed, covered in blood. Summer was a sight.

“You’re locked in, dumba$s.” The feminine voice behind her said dryly.

Spinning around slowly, Summer blinked a few times before grinning madly. Crawling quickly toward the figure in the armchair, she exclaimed in a raspy whisper, “Sophie! I’ve never been more happy to see you. I…” She paused to lick her lips just a few feet away from the chair. “I have to ask forgiveness- can we catch up after I feed? I am feeling quite peckish, in all honesty.”

The girl sat on the chair, one leg crossed over the other. Her foot wiggled in irritation. Sophie didn’t reply. Instead, she waited patiently for the famished vampire to approach. Summer reached up to put her hands on Sophie’s thigh in an effort to hoist herself up. Her hand grasped the edge of the chair instead. The texture and density were so unexpected, it was similar to walking downstairs and missing a step. Frowning, Summer squinted and stared. There was no Sophie. Just the chair. Stain-free and pristine as new, but it was the chair she’d sat in the last time she’d consumed.

Reeling, Summer tumbled backward, landing on her back. Staring at the ceiling, it felt as though the wind had been knocked out of her. If she had functioning lungs, that is. Floating above her inexplicably, Sophie looked down. Her arms were crossed and a grumpy look was on her face. “It’s about time you fvcking woke up. That creeper ghoul kept coming in here, sitting in that chair and staring at you. Did you know everything is locked? The windows, the doors, sh!t, there’s even something stopping me from leaving. Me!”

Summer lifted herself onto her elbows, glancing from the floating spectre of a girl above her and the chair in which she once sat. The chair they’d both sat. The chair where she’d drained Sophie’s life from her. It all came back at once, hitting her like a ton of bricks. Flopping back down, Summer wondered if she could behead herself or take wood from a piece of furniture to stake herself. It wasn’t a maudlin thought but a genuine one. Here she lay, alone and forsaken, hallucinating and sober. How in the ever-loving fvck was Sophie floating above her and talking? She’d nearly decapitated her friend as she gnawed at her neck.

The recollection was so visceral, Summer had to turn her head away. She felt warm with shame, sorrow, and grief. Mostly shame. “I’ve done it, I’ve gone and lost my damned mind officially. I’m a fvckin’ nutter.” Summer whispered as she stared across the floor. Nary a dust bunny was found under the wardrobe or along the baseboards. The butler was truly good at his job.

“Oi, knock it the fvck off, will ye? You’re not a nutter. Well, at least not for the reasons I think you’re on about. Apparently, I’m dead. I’m a ghost or somethin’. How else would I be floating like this?” Summer turned her head to look up at Sophie, whose expression was that of mild annoyance.
October 09, 2017 01:15 am

Summer S Summers

Track #16, Dante Sonata, Franz Lizst

Was it selfish to be pleased that your one and only friend was now a spectre, unable to leave the very room you were locked in? Was it a sign of a complete and total mental break? Did that already happen the few years prior when the then-teenage girl had been thrown out like yesterday’s garbage by the people who were supposed to protect and love her unconditionally? Or maybe it was when the mortal human had been enlightened to the creatures that roamed among us? It could have been when she’d been turned, a monster just like those who held her captive. If ever a jumping off point from sanity, any of those would be perfect. If any shred of sanity remained, it had been eviscerated when she’d drained that one friend of life.

Yet Summer found herself feeling mildly sane, having an everyday conversation with Sophie about something completely commonplace. It was true- nothing about the situation was normal. A vampire and a ghost were stuck in a room as prisoners. The vampire knew her captor. The ghost? Neither girl could figure out exactly why she seemed to be stuck in that room with Summer.

Life being the unending series of disappointments that it was, Summer should have known what was coming. But that lack of sanity removed foresight.

Summer started, realizing a man sat in the armchair, watching her and Sophie chat on her bed. His hair was longish, to his jawline. A jawline that was so strong and sharp it could cut diamonds. A long, aristocratic nose led up to deep-set eyes. He was remarkably handsome, and Summer wasn’t just thinking that because it’d been two years since she’d seen anyone other than the Uncle and the Butler. Blinking, she said nothing. It was as though she thought if she spoke, he’d vanish. He was beautiful and breathtakingly familiar looking.

His hooded gaze was set on Sophie, however. If Sophie had been corporeal, Summer would have taken her hand and clutched it for dear life. Instead, Summer licked her lips nervously and waited. The presence (or lack thereof) didn't negate the cold hard fact that Summer had some sh!t luck. This old-timey handsome man was unequivocally not here to join her ghost-friend menagerie. That much was painfully obvious.

“Sophie. Come with me, girl. You’re late as it is. Foolish ghoul’s got this place rigged up to keep you in.” The man’s voice was deep and calm, but quite commanding. It felt like a velvet hammer in Summer’s brain. He smiled, icy and formidable. “Of course, it wasn’t enough to keep me out.”

Ghoul. Was that simply an insult to the Uncle? Or… “The Butler? He’s...a ghoul?” Summer’s voice felt tinny and loud to her ears. Her words felt inappropriate for this man like she was asking something she shouldn’t. Or rather, like she was asking a King a common question.

He dragged his eyes from Sophie to Summer, making her feel like he’d only just noticed she was there. He’d noticed, of course, he’d noticed. Nothing got past his eagle-esque gaze. After looking at her for a moment, he gave a single nod. “Yes, the butler is a ghoul. The only creature who’d tolerate doing the bidding of a vampire.” He gave a withering look to Sophie. “I stand corrected. Ghouls and Goth Teenagers. Regardless. He ate her corpse, as ghouls tend to do, which always snarls the passing-over business. He’s got some bindings around this entire wing I’m guessing they are for you, Vampiress. Ghouls aren’t the brightest bulbs, so I doubt he’d considered Sophie’s spirit would need to pass.” He gave a small, disappointed sigh, as though he were discussing the rising costs of produce at the grocery store.

Summer’s face was a mask of disgust and horror. The Butler had eaten Sophie? If she had anything in her stomach at all, she’d have hurled. Sophie, on the other hand, stared at the man, mouth agape. She didn’t look horrified or repulsed. She simply looked shocked. “You’re taking me away? Now that she’s finally awake? I’ve been stuck here for ages looking at her shriveled body in that fireplace. Now that I have company, you finally arrive?” Her tone was truly that of a teenager- petulant and completely inappropriate given the audience.

His gaze darkened. “With the bindings and your soul being obscured by the ghoul, I wasn’t able to track you. Who knows, perhaps your liveliness upon the Vampiress’s awakening was enough to allow me to find you. Blame her. She’s why you’re dead in the first place.”

Summer’s gasp was loud enough to cause an echo in the room. It was absolutely true, but it didn’t mean it stung any less. Summer looked away in shame, fixing her eyes on a music box on top of a bureau. Who did this man think he was? The audacity. Snapping her attention back to him, Summer glowered. “Who are you? What are you even doing here? If you can break through the binds, let us both out and be done with it.” She said irritably.

He said no words, yet her questions were answered with one thought in her mind when he looked at her. His visage didn’t change, she didn’t have flashes of the fiery pits of hell. Despite that, she knew. Icy fear gripped her stomach. Simultaneously she felt a flash of heat cross her body as his gaze remained fixed on her.

The Devil himself sat in the armchair in which she’d killed her only friend.
January 04, 2018 11:25 pm
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